Why did Amazon choose Findlay? Lima lacks spec buildings

Sam Shriver, The Lima News, Ohio
·2 min read

Feb. 24—LIMA — Lima lost out to Findlay in a bid to attract an Amazon distribution center.

In reality, Lima wasn't even in the running.

"In this case, JobsOhio knew that we don't have any buildings with the metrics that (Amazon) needed," said Dave Stratton, president/CEO of the Allen Economic Development Group. "To be honest, we're at a shortage of buildings with square footage of 100,000 square feet that have that kind of ceiling height, and all of the different variables that are needed in that building. So we were never in the running because we don't have any buildings that are up that have those kinds of metrics."

It was announced earlier this month that Amazon would be its first tenant.

The move will mean 160 new jobs going to Findlay and an additional $5 million investment by Amazon.

The spec building site was developed in partnership with JobsOhio, Regional Growth Partnership, City of Findlay, Department of Transportation and Hancock Regional Planning Commission.

Lima is at a competitive disadvantage in not having ready-made buildings companies can move into.

"We don't have any buildings of that size with access to I-75. We have a couple of buildings, but they're not in the right location. So for instance, we have the building that is the old Home Depot that's 94,000 square feet, but it doesn't have the right ceiling height, and it's not in the right location, because most of these businesses want access to 75," Stratton said.

Stratton is hoping they'll be able to locate spec buildings near the interstate and attract the next Amazon.

"We're going to have to build some. My goal is to have one up on the south side down by Bob Evans. We're looking at different developers that would help us to put up spec buildings that would meet the metrics of a business like Amazon," Stratton said.

Rumors on social media of Amazon possibly buying the Lima Mall and turning it into a distribution center are flat-out not true, according to Stratton.

"There's nothing in the works in respect to that that I'm aware of. You've got to remember too that some of these distribution centers need a certain amount of height so they're always looking for upwards to 32 feet of interior height so they can double stack. The Lima Mall — there isn't anything there that has that kind of height or size to it," Stratton said. "I think I would hear about it before social media would."

Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.